Ever spotted the uncanny presence of Captain Jack Sparrow right here in Winnipeg? If you have, you’ve likely crossed paths with Todd Douglas.
The talented pirate for hire is an enthusiastic Jack Sparrow impersonator better known as Jack in the Peg. He sings, tells jokes and has amassed a small following on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.
His transformation into the iconic pirate is more than a mere act. It’s a vivid journey that radiates with passion, humour and, above all, a desire to spread joy. Douglas’ introduction to the world of Jack Sparrow began with his wife Corinne’s suggestion in 2014.
“She introduced me to Jack Sparrow, saying I should go as him for Halloween. I remember thinking, ‘who the hell is Jack Sparrow?’” he says. Now, Douglas has become a local celebrity.
He says people of all different ages love and connect with his cosplay, because so many of them grew up watching or have fond memories of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
A captivating scene familiar to Pirates fans unfolds in Douglas’ enchanting home. The living room boasts a whimsical Jack Sparrow-themed bar and a lifelike mannequin of the famed pirate himself.
“Strangely enough, I had him (the mannequin) in the storage room of the last place we lived. Corinne saw him and said, ‘Why don’t you bring him in the apartment?’” Douglas says. “It took some getting used to, because, at first, we’d walk into the room and be startled, thinking there was somebody standing in our living room.”
Captain Jack rules over a treasure trove of quirky finds: trinkets, pirate flags, a thrifted rum bottle, pirate rings and even the famed Black Pearl ship. Collected through thrifting, gifting, adventure and craftiness, these items make a playful homage to the beloved character who is now part of Douglas’ life.
At the centre of the bar is a framed portrait of Johnny Depp. “My wife’s ultimate Hollywood hunk is Johnny Depp. That was part of the reason why she wanted me to do Jack Sparrow,” Douglas says, jokingly. “She wanted her very own Johnny Depp slash Jack Sparrow.”
Their home is where the ordinary and the extraordinary coexist in harmony. It’s a place where the couple proves that the spirit of adventure and a touch of fantasy can indeed find a home in the heart of the Canadian prairies.
Newest creation (left) - “So I’ve been making this, and I plan to have it hanging outside the trunk of my car. The peg leg is actually just a toilet plunger.”
Favourite portrait (right) - “When I first hung the picture, I said, ‘Oh Johnny, you’re so gorgeous!’ and planted a kiss right on his lips. Later, when (my wife) returned home, she ran over to the bar and said, ‘Let me be the first to do this!’ as she kissed him on the lips. I said, ‘No, you’re second.’”
Ring collection (left) - “A lot of these rings are the ones I wear when I’m Jack. They’re all from thrift stores or flea markets.”
Scarlet’s fit (right) - “This is Corinne’s outfit. She’s put a lot of work into it. This is her purse, but she also carries her phone in it.”
Treasure chest - “This is where I keep the real treasure. I made these myself, and that’s actually my hair. I just stick it on with a liquid latex.”
Published in Volume 78, Number 07 of The Uniter (October 26, 2023)